Who You Say I Am

I was at my old church recently and they did a powerful rendition of "Who You Say I Am," shown in its original version below:

If you don't feel like watching the video, the lyrics to the bridge are what really prompted this blog post:

I am chosen Not forsaken I am who You say I am You are for me Not against me I am who You say I am

It was strange as they sang it, because my immediate response was an internal rejection of what I was hearing. How could I be who God says I am? I don't feel all that significant most days. And I don't. I live in a world where success means a big career that takes up all your time, is fueled by passion, and also pays super well. I have none of those things.

In case you're wondering what God does say about us, here are just a few:
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:16-17.)
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:29-31
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. 
 “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:3-4.

Those are all amazing things, right? To even think that the God of the universe would even consider us is pretty remarkable, if you let your mind go there. Reading Francis Chan will remind you of that -- he writes about it often. We need to be sensitive to the magnificence of God.

But in this world, in the my day-to-day, in Los Angeles, I don't feel all that worthwhile. And as I mentioned above, it largely ties into my professional status: Homemaker, Stay-at-home Dad. These things don't bring in financial worth to the household (outside of saving money on daycare, which is significant, I'll admit), and so I don't really feel all that valuable to society.

On top of that, my kids are going to be in school full-time in a year or two, which leaves me with what to do? I'm trying to make music a viable profession, but what a crazy idea that is! Still, faith and small successes carry me on as I press into the unknown.

The real investment.

Maybe the biggest problem is comparison. I have several friends that have chosen cool, creative and often lucrative careers or businesses, something to pour themselves into that is unique and interesting. They've devoted their professional lives to it and are seeing the results. I just feel so left behind. I want something like that to invest in, and though I have lots of things like that I love to do and have put a lot of time into (this blog for instance), none of it has provided much of a financial return. But why does money have to be the measure for success in the first place? Isn't the truest measure of success my own investment in my family? That's the choice I make every day as a husband and father, but it doesn't always alleviate the doubts that come with the western world I live in.

I think this is all a bigger issue than one blog post can manage, but I'll leave you with this: Maybe the reason I don't feel like I amount to much in the eyes of the world, is because I don't actually believe it myself. Perhaps belief precedes action, or the fulfillment of promises. This aligns with the bible, and requires a claiming of the promise in order to proceed. And so, in a written out prayer to God, Help me believe what You said is true about me. I claim it as your gift. Thank you for saying what You mean, how you feel, and for your love. Amen.